Sunday, July 21, 2024

Public Input Welcomed For New Library

March 18, 2022 by  
Filed under Feature

BY KELVIN WATSON | Executive Director, Las Vegas-Clark County Library District

The original West Las Vegas Library opened on Dec. 2, 1973 at 1402 N. “D” St. First Western Savings and Loan helped to fund the purchase and rehab of the building. The library moved in 1989 to its current location at 951 W. Lake Mead Blvd.

What do you value most about your West Las Vegas Library? How can we improve our programs and services to better serve you? We want to hear from residents of the Historic West Side as the Las Vegas-Clark County Library District considers reinvesting in the future of your neighborhood with plans for a proposed new, larger, 21st century library.

Kelvin Watson

Proposed New Features

Just some of the new features that could be part of a new library building include: greater access to computers and advanced technology for children, teens, and adults; an intergenerational living room, which invites social interaction; expanded meeting rooms and an event center that allows for larger meetings, family parties, and event performances; maker spaces, which give all ages dedicated areas to express their creativity; expanded business and career services with classrooms for adult learning and skill development; and an outdoor space for community events with ample parking.

To learn more about the proposed project, I sincerely hope you can join us for a Community Meeting on Monday, March 21 from 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. in the West Las Vegas Library Theatre, located at 951 West Lake Mead Blvd. We will be asking for community feedback and sharing our vision, objectives, and future library services that a new building could accommodate.

In case you can’t be there in person, please plan to watch the meeting live online at You can also provide your feedback via email at

West Las Vegas Vegas Library circa 1973

A Long & Proud History

I would like to take a moment to share with you the Library District’s long commitment to the Historic West Side. In the early 1970s, community activist Ruby Duncan and members of the Guy Center and Operation Life Inc. spearheaded bringing a library to the neighborhood. They reached out to the Library District, and their goal was simple: “To make children [happier] with reading and learning … We want something enjoyable … a lot of good programming,” said Ms. Duncan.

West Las Vegas Vegas Library circa 1973

First Western Savings and Loan helped to fund the purchase and rehab of a building at 1402 N. “D” St., which would become the West Las Vegas Library. It opened on December 2, 1973 as a tribute to the many diverse groups who planned and started it. Seven months after the library opened, Library Director Executive Charles Hunsberger announced a record 1,054 customers during the month of June 1974. To demonstrate the growth that we have enjoyed at our current location, today we serve an average of 21,000 people per month.

West Las Vegas Vegas Library circa 1973

The current West Las Vegas Library, located at 951 West Lake Mead Blvd., was an outgrowth of the city’s expansion in the late 1980s. The Library District was able to obtain this corner lot from the City of Las Vegas (which still owns the land). The new West Las Vegas Library was constructed there and the “D” Street staff and materials moved into a brand new 16,000 square foot building. Ms. Duncan, Dr. James McMillan, William “Bob” Bailey, Verlia Davis, and George Ward were recognized as “Advocates of the West Las Vegas Library” when it opened its doors to great celebration on January 2, 1989.

Did You Know?

Here are some facts about the West Las Vegas Library’s history that you may not know:

Increased Circulation: In 1974, after our first full year of operation, we had seen a circulation of 13,957 items from our collection. Today, we circulate an average of 36,000 items per year.

●Easy Self-Service: In 2008, to eliminate long lines, we added the automated check-in and self-service check-out machines.

African American Special Collection: The West Las Vegas Library houses the African American Special Collection, which focuses on the Black experience in Las Vegas, Nevada, and the West. The District’s objectives in developing this Special Collection are to empower members of the community and enable them to relive and rediscover the vibrancy of the Historic West Side. The collection also examines the many historic contributions of African Americans to the development of the United States. More:

Free Tutoring & Homework Help: In 2001, we expanded the West Las Vegas Library to create the Young People’s Library, and later, in 2007, we incorporated the Library District’s first dedicated Homework Help Center. The Young People’s Library offers core educational print and electronic materials for students K-12, with a 20-seat dedicated homework help computer lab.

Expanding Services: In 2021, we were able to rearrange a portion of the library’s layout to increase our Computer Center to include 40 computers and a dedicated Teen Zone.

I hope to see you at the Community Meeting on March 21, 2022, and look forward to your input and questions. Just as we were in 1973, I can assure you that the Library District remains dedicated to the Historic West Side’s long-term growth and prosperity as a community anchor. We remain your partners in limitless learning.

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